Lotus develop device to lower front ride height

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In the round-up: Lotus are believed to have a new device to aid braking stability.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Has Lotus Renault found this year’s must-have gizmo? (James Allen)

See a diagram of the device in the original article here.

Skiing and relaxing on the slopes in Campiglio (Ferrari)

Keith Collantine via F1 Fanatic

A special welcome to @benracing1 who’s our 4,000th member* on F1 Fanatic! (Active members in the last three months.)

Car Livery Designed for Force India 2011 (Behance Network)

Pictures showing how Force India’s livery for 2011 was designed. (Thanks @PJTierney for the tip.)

Overall overhaul – race suit evolution (F1)

“A racing driver’s work clothes of 60 years ago couldn’t have been more basic. They usually consisted of: lightweight cotton trousers and a T-shirt, and thin skinned leather/suede shoes, often with rubber soles – an outfit topped off by a flimsy fabric skullcap.”

Elroy Road to be widened, but not before first F1 race (Austin-American Statesman)

“Travis County and Circuit of the Americas have resumed negotiations over how to split the $5 million to $6 million cost of repairing and expanding about a mile of Elroy Road, a bumpy two-lane county road that leads to one of the [Circuit of the Americas] site’s two entrances.”

F1 Fanatic via Twitter

“I wonder what Ferrari will call their F1 car this year. Fiesta? Mondeo?”

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Comment of the day

Rob Haswell misses the old Renault livery of 2010:

I’m happy to see the old bumblebee on my screen again. That paint job was (and is) by far the best on the grid.
Rob Haswell

From the forum

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On this day in F1

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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111 comments on “Lotus develop device to lower front ride height”

  1. I’m not reading too much into this. The nature of the Formula 1 arms race means that when you think you are onto the Next Big Thing, you keep it as secret as possible for as long as possible, or else someone will be able to build their own version. If Lotus so much as think that this might by a viable idea, then it’s a card they would want to keep close to their chest. Spilling the beans three weeks out from the first test means that they’re either doubtful of it, or grossly incompetent. Based on their chronic mismanagement last year and their inability to develop the front-facing exhausts into anytihng useful, I’m guessing that Lotus are the latter.

    1. true.. it’s like they’re creating an excuse as to why they might be delightfully average at the test..

    2. Lotus didn’t spill the beans. as you can see from the diagram it’s a very small, hidden device that was spotted by a journalist at a test.
      to me it sounds like you think Lotus leaked this by themselves?

    3. Reading the article, it seems they tested it at the abu dhabi test with an eagle eyed Piola spotting a cylinder within the wheel, and then I’m guessing comparing it to the 2011 design. This isn’t Lotus announcing anything.

      I’m guessing it is also quite late to go copying something like this because such a radical change to front end aero will affect the way the whole car was designed.

      Certainly interesting. Gets me excited for the car launches!

      1. I’m guessing it is also quite late to go copying something like this because such a radical change to front end aero will affect the way the whole car was designed.

        There is still seven weeks to go before the first race. Once a designer understands the principal behind the system, it should be pretty easy to come up with an interpretation of it. Assuming it doesn’t get banned.

        1. Once a designer understands the principal behind the system, it should be pretty easy to come up with an interpretation of it.

          Not necessarily. Renault’s mass damper was easy to understand and McLaren and Ferrari both copied it – but neither got it to work properly before it was banned. At the time, rumours abounded that the ban was a fairly direct result of other teams’ failures to get it working.

          1. McLaren invented the mass-damper.

            Renault suddenly came up with the same solution after they received a disk with the design from a McLaren mechanic. But of course they never looked at the info on that disk …

            Ferrari couldn’t get the mass damper to work because of the bridgestone tyres. The other teams didn’t get it to work anymore either after they all moved to bridgestone tyres.

      2. @john-h it wouldn’t be a fundamental change to front end aerodynamics; no. But it would give you further flexibility in terms of setup. The system is nowhere near as difficult to copy as an F-duct or EBD.

        1. The actual F-duct was not that difficult to copy. It was the rules that made it impossible to copy. The system worked by funneling air through a pipe that started in the nose of the car, went past the driver and up over the rear wing. It literally had no moving parts, and worked by having the drivers change the relative air pressure in the channel. But the rules were changed ahead of the 2010 season, limiting the number of changes teams could make to the survival cell, and more importantly, the reasons why those changes could be made. The FIA was only willing to homologate changes to the survival cells if they were designed to improve driver safety. Because the F-duct was a performance part and not a safety device, none of the teams could copy the McLaren system directly – they could not pass the air channel through the cockpit for the driver to control, and so they were forced to make passive F-duct systems, which were more complicated and less effective than the McLaren system.

          1. @prisoner-monkeys Physically it wasn’t difficult to copy. As you say, the survival cell had regs that required the homologation of it. However it was difficult in terms of getting the system to properly do what it’s meant to. Many teams were suffering from separation and attachment issues; leakage, etc.

          2. it was difficult in terms of getting the system to properly do what it’s meant to

            That’s because the teams had to find a different, much more complex solution to achieve the same effect.

          3. @prisoner-monkeys AFTER they were able to establish a working fluidic switch, they were having problems tuning the output. That’s what I meant. It wasn’t just about the logistics of the upgrade; in terms of placing the hole in the cockpit to switch on/off the duct. A very large problem was that most teams were having difficulty reattaching the flow to the wing after they turned off the f-duct. There was also a problem of the duct towards the rear wing not entirely switching off when the hole was uncovered again.

          4. @prisoner-monkeys no no; AFTER they had the switch sorted out both in terms of being able to switch the thing on; and also in terms of the logistics of placing the hole; a lot of teams were having difficulty in terms of tuning the output.

            Most teams were having problems in terms of attaching/separating the flow successfully; and also with leakage; which quite a few ducts were doing. Ferrari famously were never able to fully get the thing to stop leaking (i.e. it could never switch off 100% – there was still a bit of “leaking”)

          5. This is incorrect. Other teams had the F Duct running through the cockpit, it just wasn’t integrated into the monocoque like the Mclaren version. Red Bull Ferrari etc had pipework retrofitted onto the tub which worked very well indeed. You must remember the comments about drivers blocking holes with their hands? In the end I believe the Renault F Duct was regarded as the best.

    4. hmm..didnt u post the same thing on james allen’s site?

      1. Is that a problem?

        Not everyone who posts there posts here. And not everyone who posts here posts there, either. I thought I’d share my thoughts both here and there.

        1. No you are entitled to post wherever u want..i just have one question…are u trying to start an anti-lotus club??..cause you are trying damn hard to put them down at every opportunity

          1. Nope. I’m just commenting on what I see. And right now, I’m seeing a team that needs to turn things around for 2012 more than anyone else (short of Williams), and has found the Next Big Thing in terms of car design, but has somehow managed to let the cat out of the bag and given up any possible advantage two months before it would have paid off.

          2. Agree with PM he has a point. If indeed it works, why sharing it at an early stage?

    5. Its all very nice to say so PM, but how is it different from people seeing McLaren’s duct and starting to speculate what it is.

      Here the team ran something in the AbuDhabi test, a clever spotter saw it and carefully got behind what it is doing as well. Not the team telling the world they have the next big thing!

      Given the implications of this, it will probably not bee all that easy to just copy what it does and put it on a car. Probably the reason why Renault/Lotus tested this in the first case, to see if it actually works.

      1. Its all very nice to say so PM, but how is it different from people seeing McLaren’s duct and starting to speculate what it is.

        Because McLaren didn’t show off the F-duct until much later, and they were protected by the way the other teams could never exactly duplicate their system given the rules about the survival cell. But this device has no such limitations to it; the teams are free to play around without encountering rules that prevent them from copying Lotus. The outline of how the system supposedly works is detailed enough to suggest that Lotus have been experimenting with it, so there is obviously something to it – it could be possible, even if Lotus decide to abandon it. The problem is that since everyone knows about it now, the other eleven teams can start working on their own version and have something ready for Melbourne. How long do you think it would take Adrian Newey to understand this system, design his own, have it installed on the car and duplicate the effects? When double-decker diffusers were introduced in 2009, Newey had one ready for Shanghai – the third race of the season – despite having to compeltely reconfigure the rear suspension assembly and gearbox to accomodate the new diffuser. And Red Bull didn’t just trial it in FP1 to see if it worked. They put it on the RB5, and went on to finish first and second.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys I’m not disagreeing with your comments; but you have a big factual error. The 2009 Red Bull only had its double diffuser installed by Monaco. They won in China without the double diffuser.

    6. Lotus didn’t spill the beans, Girgio Piola spyed it at the Abu Dhabi test and kindly blabbed it all over the net for them.

    7. PM, you make it sound like Lotus are the ones advertising this.

      Obviously they would want to keep this secret for as long as possible, but they also have to test it and get a head start on development. Unfortunately for them a journalist noticed it and spread the news. But that doesn’t mean they are not seriously looking into this or that we should dismiss it as a smoke screen.

    8. At this stage, it is very difficult to determine or even predict one team advantages over others. Like they say, economics predictions make astrology respectable (as an Economist) I must say the same about pre-season predictions in F1.

      However, your point makes sense.

  2. Really interesting story that James Allen has put out there. I’m sure that Renault arent the only team with such a system (well, the top 5 must have a variance of it…) I hope it means that there are at least 9 cars (Massa not included…) battling for a win this year if this is the case.

    1. @jamesf1

      (well, the top 5 must have a variance of it…)

      Not necessarily. They’ll only have it if they thought of it themselves. After all, the F-duct was a very simple, very clever device when it was introduced in 2010 (least of all because it was impossible to recreate faithfully), but McLaren were the only ones who thought of using it at the start of the year.

      No doubt the front-running teams will be watching Lotus very carefully now that this system has been unearthed, but just because Lotus thought of it, that doesn’t mean the other teams already have.

      1. If Piola spotted it at the Abu Dhabi test, I’m sure a few teams will have too.

        1. Very good point.

  3. I’m not going to get carried away with Lotus this time. I still remember people wondering out loud a year ago whether the R31 might be so good that Nick Heidfeld could challenge for the world title…

    1. I was one of them (although I wondered out loud at the pub, not on here) – I honestly believed LRGP were going to be 2011’s Brawn. And how stupid I feel now…

      1. They did get 2 podiums in the first two races, so I wouldn’t feel too bad!

    2. I still remember people wondering out loud a year ago whether the R31 might be so good that Nick Heidfeld could challenge for the world title

      I can only assume they were talking about some other Nick Heidfeld and not the one who had been in the sport for a decade beforehand. Heidi Nickfeld, maybe.

      1. Give it a rest. Renault appeared promising before testing and during.

        Of course the results from Race 1 of the season are what and only count, but you cant blame Heidfield for what was a dog of a car.

        1. Renault appeared promising before testing and during.

          I’m well aware that they did. But, as was pointed out in yesterday’s round-up:

          On this day in F1
          Want proof that testing times can be deceptive? Ten years ago today Eddie Irvine was quickest for Jaguar ahead of Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren) and Luca Badoer (Ferrari).

          As has been consistently demonstrated over the years, testing times count for very little, if not nothing at all.

          But what I’m looking at is Nick Heidfeld himself. I simply do not understand the hype that surrounded him. He was never going to be a World Champion, and I’m bemused that people thought he could be on the back of a few lap times he set during winter testing.

          1. People like the underdog. He was always the underdog and while not surprising, he managed to pull out good ones from time to time but never enough for a win.

            That’s it, really. I liked Heidfeld too… you don’t need a champion-material driver to be close to your heart, that’s why we all loved Minardi.

          2. Are people allowed to like him?

            I’m really not sure! :D

          3. Are people allowed to like him?

            Yes, but as a condition of liking him, they must feel very guilty about it.

          4. But what I’m looking at is Nick Heidfeld himself. I simply do not understand the hype that surrounded him. He was never going to be a World Champion, and I’m bemused that people thought he could be on the back of a few lap times he set during winter testing.

            There were people who thought the exact same thing about Button in 2009 pre-season testing when the BGP001 was topping the timesheets.

            I think we have become so used to only 2 or 3 teams being real contenders in the championship that when there is the possibility of an upstart changing that, they are automatically disregarded. The crazy exhaust system on the Renault this year had the potential to be the ‘double diffuser’ of this season, and Heidfeld definitely has the ability to win races given the right car. And I wasn’t the only person to believe that, the likes of James Allen and Joe Saward also believed that Renault could have been world champions again. But unfortunately it didn’t work out.

      2. obviously a lot of people (including me)had hoped that heidfeld could have at least broken his winless streak… Was a better driver than petrov and didnt deserve to be treated so badly

        1. Was a better driver than petrov

          That’s open to debate. He may have been once, but he was only two points ahead of Petrov when he was dropped.

          didnt deserve to be treated so badly

          That’s true, but it’s more a symptom of the team’s chronic mismanagement than anything else. The team needed money, and fast – they were in a position where they were owing money to a ruthless Russian banker (who later got himself arrested for asset-stripping), and if they didn’t pay their loans off, there was a very real chance he could have come along and started liquidating the team, starting with their most-valuable assets first: the cars.

          1. Heildfeld scored more points, he did it more consistently, and he did it while suffering more retirements…

            It’s open to debate… But you’d be silly to be on the other side.

          2. Heildfeld scored more points, he did it more consistently

            By finishing in positions that were consistently low. Heidfeld was scoring sevenths and eighths. Petrov had a fifth-placing in there, if I remember rightly – and one that Heidfeld threw away.

          3. Petrov got one fifth, which was at the crazy Canadian race.

            Heidfeld had 1 7th and 3 8ths and these were on the back of talent as opposed to wet weather luck.

            Petrov only scored three times in the last eight races, and ignoring Canada and his podium he never finished higher than eighth, which he only did once.

          4. I have to agree with Mike, Heidfeld consistently scored points, even if they were in the lower end. Petrov was inconsistent, yes he got a fifth, but he wasn’t consistent like Heidfeld. That fifth is really the only reason he was just two points off. If Heidfeld finished fourth or fifth which is were he was heading in Canada, the gap would have been significantly larger.

          5. I agree with Mike. Nick is reliable and better than Petra. So sad he was treated that way..

          6. I think you are overrating Nick Heidfeld there @mike, he really did not do enough for an experienced and successfull driver. His qualifying was horrible compared with relatively unexperienced Petrov.

            And when telling how Petrov did not score any good results, its easy to forget that in Monaco he would have scored very solidly had he not been dashed into the wall when ALG shot up on Hamiltons back after Sutil messed up.

            I am not saying, that Petrov was a revelation (he too did not show the improvement with experience one would have hoped to have seen in a really good driver), but Heidfeld, after all those years was just plain solid, not great or even very good.

          7. Heidfeld’s qualifying was truly terrible… It’s a pity I think that it wasn’t the only season he had the issue. He could have done more.

      3. @prisoner-monkeys I do hope Heidi Nickfeld doesn’t have a beard!

  4. It seems as a improvement over the “flexi-wings”.

    So I guess it could work brilliantly OR end up like the improvement over the blown diffuser: the front exit exhausts Renault tried last year and seriously backfired (or “fowardfired”?..)

    1. Exactly. This is my favourite part of James Allen’s article:

      They [Lotus Renault] are an innovative crowd, without the resources of a McLaren or a Red Bull, but with plenty of bright ideas. Last year they tried to innovate with the front blowing exhausts, which didn’t work.

      So I ain’t sure if their newest innovation will be that great. Moreover, if it was as ‘simple and efficient’ as JA describes, then the other teams would either have already implemented the solution or copy it immediately. As I understand, the F-duct was actually a very complicated system even if the idea was simple. That is probably the problem of the small teams – they might have bright ideas but often don’t have enough resources to put them into practice, that is, test and adjust the solutions accordingly. I also believe it is too early for serious innovations to appear, the first test is still a month away.

      Anyway, it’s good that we have something to talk about during the off-season :)

  5. Great article on the evolution of race suits. It is real easy not to think about how much more exposed the Old Timers were before the focus on safety became so important. I wonder what the next sixty years of GP racing will bring forth in terms of suit development?

    1. Indeed. The article is very well written.

      Also fascinating to hear they were wearing suits made of the ‘wonder material’ asbestos in the 70s until the downsides were discovered.

    2. I think it was originally in the FIA’s Institute Quarterly magazine a few months ago.

    3. I agree on that @malibu_GP and @john-h, really nice read and well written article.

  6. Im sure Lotus will do better this year, they need to redeem theirselves.

    1. *cue PM response* LOL!

      1. I always thought PM was pro-LRGP and anti-Fernandes (much like yours truly), but it appears he’s now anti-both. Oh well.

        1. I believe he liked Petrov and dislikes Grosjean and Raikkonen, so wasn’t overly happy with the driver changes. I’m actually the complete opposite (although I also wouldn’t have been disappointed to see Senna stay).

          1. That’s pretty much how it happened. :D Guess he’s human after all. :D

          2. Indeed. After Petrov was dropped you’ll see the nature of the comments change.


  7. Finally! Some interesting technical F1 news..

  8. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who, upon reading the headline, thought that sounded like a promising development for a 2 year old team.

    It’s going to take a while for me to get used to this name change.

    1. Yep. Caught me out as well!

      1. Me too! I had to click on the link to see what team we were talking about!

  9. Did anyone read the ariticle about the Renault braking system? Notice the lazy reporter?

    “It also escaped the eyes a more careful solution that is seen in tests of Abu Dhabi, in the session reserved for young drivers, just after the Grand Prix won by Vettel.”

    … the guy probably just thinking that everything was won by Vettel.

    1. Well, it was part based on an article in Italian, so I guess a bit of g-translate mess was left in it!

  10. That FI logo at the top of that article looks pretty sweet with the lettering! Why didn’t they use that in the livery? But then, I love good letter design, so I’m partial…

    1. I like it as well, but I think there might be problems with the rights to the F1 logo and this beeing seen to be too similar.

  11. Interesting development from Lotus. I don’t know what’s more exciting, the idea of it being used or seeing the paranoid responses and subsequent protest from the established old guard.


  12. When looking back at the last years, massdamper-gate and F-duct rulings make it impossible to predict the outcome of the Lotus innovation. Rideheight-gate.

    Maybe it’s more difficult to get right than we think. So there is a chance other teams will protest, instead of copying.

    And then we’ll probably have a weekend where the system gets banned in practice, then unbanned for qualifying to be banned again for the race. After which the rules are changed back again, so the system stays legal, untill 2013.

  13. If active suspension is a movable aerodynamic device, then how the hell do they expect to run this?

    1. @Gridlock I had the same thought and had a quick glance at the 2012 technical regulations. Active suspension is effectively banned because suspension must only be able to move in response to the loads placed on it through the wheels, i.e. external actuators that alter ride height are not permitted.

      But the way the Lotus system appears to work is by preventing unwanted dive under braking and squat under acceleration, rather than actively triggering them – it would effectively appear to be an extra damper. The Williams active suspension system could, I think, have the car run higher at the front on straights to assist acceleration.

      This could be a brilliant idea, it could be a complete red herring, we’ll have to wait and see. But in nostalgia terms alone, discussing a new Lotus featuring anti-dive and anti-squat suspension is a welcome hark back to 1970 and the Lotus 72.

      1. It seems to be an area they are particularly innovative in.

        Scarbs wrote about thier Fluid Inverter,

        … now this, hope he writes an article on it, interesting story, although there should be enough time to copy it before the season unless it banned.

        The other teams have known about it for a while, its just not been splashed around the media until now.

        1. seems you got some kind of mistake in that link, this one should work

      2. The wording there is clearly to differentiate a function of the suspension that is designed to perform as suspension vs a mechanism designed only to improve downforce via movable elements though, IMO. Whether its in the sporting or technical regs or a ‘secret’ technical directive, I’d almost be willing to bet money that once revealed this will be the subject of scrutineering.

        At the very least, of course, there will be a question from a rival team to Charlie asking to clarify whether they would be permitted to run this device, the usual politic way of settling “That’s illegal! We want one!”

        1. At the very least, of course, there will be a question from a rival team to Charlie asking to clarify whether they would be permitted to run this device, the usual politic way of settling “That’s illegal! We want one!”

          Autosport is reporting that it has already happened and that the FIA gave Lotus the green light about 12 months ago.

  14. Keith, I cannot stay logged in on my IPad. I log in, it returns me to the home page, when I select an article it loads the next page and logs me out.

    1. @funkyf1 Are cookies enabled properly?

      1. All sorted now, I think it was just an issue with the new layout

  15. The best Renault livery by far was the R29 esp. after ING left. I quite liked having a yellow car on the grid but I miss that more than the actual livery of the R30 which just reminded me of an Electabuzz after a pretty nasty battle. The R31 was a much superior livery it’s just that I miss a yellow car that’s what is really needed on the grid- more colours! :P

    1. I reckon F1 should have a yellow team. It always looks good and stands out nicely. Jordan, Renault etc.

    2. Bring back Forti !!

      1. I would like the next new team to have a purple livery, reminiscent of the Pacific team.

        1. I think there’s a shameful lack of any team running our national racing colour, frankly. Benetton were blue, Honda white, Mercedes are still the silver arrows and even though it’s a TV-friendly update Ferrari will be rosso forever. Nice try from Caterham last year (or however one should correctly refer back) but I want BRG on the grid.

          1. Fair point, but Benetton were only blue because of Mild Seven. What we need is for Williams’s new title sponsor to have a BRG corporate identity! (If such a company exists.)

            I didn’t count “Team Lotus” because of their insistence on running a BRG car called a Lotus with a Malaysian licence. Sacrilege.

        2. @Mike definitely agree.

          @JohnH I wish.

          @Dobin1000 I’ve actually been pining for a purple livery of late.

          @Gridlock and @jonchuckle national colours don’t bother me at all esp as I don’t actually like the shade of British Racing Green :P I just want a colourful grid but I admit I do lack any sense of patriotism particularly when it comes to sports.

    3. I bet your fear of wasps helped form your opinion of that livery @Steph :-P

      1. Yes @BasCB it did but I have a strange fondness for bumblebees so I was constantly torn between hiding behind a cushion when watching F1 races and crying “aww!” every time a Renault flew by ;)

        1. I liked the R30 livery because it looked a a tiger, and the fact that Renault went back to the classic “yellow teapot” scheme.

          I hope none of you F1 Fanatics actually missed the 1999 BAR scheme…

  16. all sounds a bit fishy to me…i’m surprised this didn’t come out on april 1st

    from what I understand (and correct me if I am wrong) lotus have developed a fluid resovior that hydralically raises or lowers the front ride height – and the evidence for this is some guy has seen a fluid tank which he didn’t know the purpose of.

    well darn…that must have been hard, no wonder other teams didn’t think of this for themselves, oh, wait a minuite…haven’t the other teams been hydralically linking the front and rear suspension ride height for some time now, oh, yes that’s correct…so they have

  17. Woop my first CotD. I wish it could have been more insightful.

  18. Well, Ferrari are already trying to get it banned (whilst working on their own system in private, no doubt). Can anybody here honestly say they are suprised that a) a team has already complained to the FIA about it, and that b) that team is Ferrari?

    1. It’s been declared legal by the FIA already it seems. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/96952

      1. Well, they completely blew it:

        AUTOSPORT understands that Lotus has been in liaison with the FIA throughout the development of the brake system, having first been proposed in 2010 and been given an official green light by the governing as long ago as January last year.

        They’ve been working on it for two years, and details of it get leaked two months before the season starts. Worse, whatever advantage they had has now been completely offset:

        AUTOSPORT also understands that at least one front-running team has already submitted plans for a similar ride-height adjustment device to be used in 2012.

        I’m willing to bet that more than one team has been working on the device.

        1. PM, its all really fine to say how Lotus must be quite unhappy about this getting spotted. But to say

          and details of it get leaked two months before the season starts.

          and basing your argument they botched the whole process on that is folly.
          It implies, that they told the world themselves, or someone from the team did, which you must know is nonsense.

          Blogger ScarbsF1 wrote on twitter, that he had been aware of this solution since januari 2011, but never published about it as he had not proof before Italian tech journalist Piola spotted it in the AbuDhabi test and publised the drawing and its explanation.

          I very much doubt, that other teams have not been following this development as close as possible all the way since it was first related to the FIA in 2010. Renault had no other option though, because putting in (investing) 2 years of work when one does not know if it will be allowed is something not many teams could afford. That is not blowing it, its the reality of F1.

    2. Where in that Autosport article does it say Ferrari are trying to get it banned? All it says is they’re awaiting confirmation of it’s legality which could mean anything. Other teams are probably awaiting confirmation as well. And as the comment says above me, it’s been declared or is going to be declared legal anyway.

      1. How long have you been following Formula 1? “Waiting on the FIA to rule on the legality of a system” means that the system has been challenged by someone. And it’s usually someone who is waiting on a verdict.

        1. And it’s usually someone who is waiting on a verdict.

          Sure but where does it say Ferrari is the one @prisoner-monkeys!

          OK, you think its Ferrari. But you should not present that as fact, when its only your theory (a theory brought forward by you without any good basis or explanation why its likely to be Ferrari).

          1. a theory brought forward by you without any good basis or explanation why its likely to be Ferrari

            Who has consistently been the first team to protest anything and everything that they haven’t developed since about 1995?


  19. Here’s one for the conspiracy theorists….Maybe LRGP have already evaluated this piece, decided it doesnt deliver performance and run it in Abu Dhabi to deflect attention away from their real innovations….

  20. Just seen a rumour on Twitter that the Lotus Ride-Height Regulator was passed legal by the FIA back in 2010! And that Ferrari are already working on their own version (along with a few other teams I suspect).

    Could be another situation where the FIA decide it’s legal only to change the rules for the next season, then banning the device.

  21. Colin Chapman is probably roling over on his grave due to the lack of secrecy of this new inovative ride height device.

    And if it was RedBull who created it, I’m sure the FIA would of banned it!

    1. Why?, what have they banned the RBR have ‘created’, if you put Mclaren (f-duct) or Brawn (DDD) in place of RBR I could understand you point.

      If you mean blown diffuser that might have been RBR first but Mclaren were also running it at Spa 2010 who knows, same with the OTBD… who was first it is an obvious evolution.

      The more you think about RBR have had less banned (front wing anyone/) than any of the top teams, including Ferrari who may say the FIA favour.

      1. I feel that FIA chases down the front running teams. They don’t want them to retain their competitive advantage because it makes the sport duller to the viewers.

  22. So I wonder which is the the other team that have already submitted their version to the FIA.

  23. I think this device is a testing tool, not for race use.

  24. From Allen’s article:

    It will come down to the judgement of the FIA’s Charlie Whiting. In the past few years he has allowed some new technologies and banned others.

    If an idea is interesting, not excessively expensive to copy and not environmentally offensive then it has a chance. It’s certainly a talking point in the run up to the new season and that’s good for F1.

    This is what annoys me. None of those things should be relevant when assessing whether a device is legal or not. You check the letter of the rules, and if it doesn’t contravene them, it’s allowed.

    1. But the rules aren’t black-and-white. The rewrites and amendments – usually introduced to ban certain technologies and devices – often create small loopholes, and many of the new pieces of equipment fall into them because the teams go looking for them.

  25. This device is a clear breach of article 10

    “10.1.2 The suspension system must be so arranged that its response results only from changes in load applied to the wheels.”

    The load is applied directly to the brakes and suspension adjustment is proportional to braking torque and not the indirect load applied to the wheels.

    “10.2.3 No adjustment may be made to the suspension system while the car is in motion.”

    No way around this one! Any adjustment be it automatic, semi-automatic, driver or magic wand controlled is ILLEGAL.

    If it’s declared legal I’ll give up watching F1 for good.

    1. I don’t see which part of that regulation this device would violate. The response does indeed result only from changes in load, and there are no adjustments made whilst the car is in motion. Both regulations are satisfied.

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